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Special Issue "Emerging Topics in (Endo)Cannabinoid Signalling"

A special issue of Molecules (ISSN 1420-3049). This special issue belongs to the section "Medicinal Chemistry".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 July 2019).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Mauro Maccarrone
Website
Guest Editor
1. Department of Biotechnological and Applied Clinical Sciences, University of L’Aquila, L’Aquila, Italy
2. European Center for Brain Research, Santa Lucia Foundation IRCCS, Rome, Italy
Interests: arachidonate cascade; bioactive lipids; biomarkers; cell membranes; endocannabinoids; resolvins; signal transduction
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Extracts of cannabis plants (Cannabis sativa and Cannabis indica) have been used for centuries because of their recreational and therapeutic effects. However, it has only been around 50 years that we have known the identity of their most active principle [Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)], and of the >110 compounds collectively termed “phytocannabinoids”. Shortly after the discovery of THC, it was recognized that endogenous ligands of the same targets activated by phytocannabinoids had to be present in our body, a concept that boosted active research leading to the discovery of N-arachidonoylethanolamine, 2-arachidonoylglycerol and other lipids as “endocannabinoids” (eCBs). Then, many more derivatives of ω-6 or ω-3 fatty acids were found to be biologically active eCBs, along with a multitude of compounds that were better considered “eCB-like” substances.

It seems now time to review the manifold actions of phytocannabinoids and eCBs in the central nervous system and at the periphery of our body, and to discuss hot topics and open questions of (endo)cannabinoid signalling that could represent an opportunity to discover new biomarkers and new therapeutic targets for disease treatment.

Prof. Dr. Mauro Maccarrone
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Biomarkers
  • cannabinoids
  • drug development
  • endocannabinoids
  • epigenetics
  • metabolic enzymes
  • receptors
  • signal transduction
  • trafficking
  • transporters

Published Papers (11 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Modulation of Endocannabinoid-Binding Receptors in Human Neuroblastoma Cells by Tunicamycin
Molecules 2019, 24(7), 1432; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24071432 - 11 Apr 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
Endocannabinoid (eCB)-binding receptors can be modulated by several ligands and membrane environment, yet the effect of glycosylation remains to be assessed. In this study, we used human neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cells to interrogate whether expression, cellular localization, and activity of eCB-binding receptors may depend [...] Read more.
Endocannabinoid (eCB)-binding receptors can be modulated by several ligands and membrane environment, yet the effect of glycosylation remains to be assessed. In this study, we used human neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cells to interrogate whether expression, cellular localization, and activity of eCB-binding receptors may depend on N-linked glycosylation. Following treatment with tunicamycin (a specific inhibitor of N-linked glycosylation) at the non-cytotoxic dose of 1 µg/mL, mRNA, protein levels and localization of eCB-binding receptors, as well as N-acetylglucosamine (GlcNAc) residues, were evaluated in SH-SY5Y cells by means of quantitative real-time reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR), fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS), and confocal microscopy, respectively. In addition, the activity of type-1 and type-2 cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2) was assessed by means of rapid binding assays. Significant changes in gene and protein expression were found upon tunicamycin treatment for CB1 and CB2, as well as for GPR55 receptors, but not for transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1). Deglycosylation experiments with N-glycosidase-F and immunoblot of cell membranes derived from SH-SY5Y cells confirmed the presence of one glycosylated form in CB1 (70 kDa), that was reduced by tunicamycin. Morphological studies demonstrated the co-localization of CB1 with GlcNAc residues, and showed that tunicamycin reduced CB1 membrane expression with a marked nuclear localization, as confirmed by immunoblotting. Cleavage of the carbohydrate side chain did not modify CB receptor binding affinity. Overall, these results support N-linked glycosylation as an unprecedented post-translational modification that may modulate eCB-binding receptors’ expression and localization, in particular for CB1. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Topics in (Endo)Cannabinoid Signalling)
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Open AccessArticle
Hippocampal Stratum Oriens Somatostatin-Positive Cells Undergo CB1-Dependent Long-Term Potentiation and Express Endocannabinoid Biosynthetic Enzymes
Molecules 2019, 24(7), 1306; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24071306 - 03 Apr 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
The hippocampus is thought to encode information by altering synaptic strength via synaptic plasticity. Some forms of synaptic plasticity are induced by lipid-based endocannabinoid signaling molecules that act on cannabinoid receptors (CB1). Endocannabinoids modulate synaptic plasticity of hippocampal pyramidal cells and stratum radiatum [...] Read more.
The hippocampus is thought to encode information by altering synaptic strength via synaptic plasticity. Some forms of synaptic plasticity are induced by lipid-based endocannabinoid signaling molecules that act on cannabinoid receptors (CB1). Endocannabinoids modulate synaptic plasticity of hippocampal pyramidal cells and stratum radiatum interneurons; however, the role of endocannabinoids in mediating synaptic plasticity of stratum oriens interneurons is unclear. These feedback inhibitory interneurons exhibit presynaptic long-term potentiation (LTP), but the exact mechanism is not entirely understood. We examined whether oriens interneurons produce endocannabinoids, and whether endocannabinoids are involved in presynaptic LTP. Using patch-clamp electrodes to extract single cells, we analyzed the expression of endocannabinoid biosynthetic enzyme mRNA by reverse transcription and then real-time PCR (RT-PCR). The cellular expression of calcium-binding proteins and neuropeptides were used to identify interneuron subtype. RT-PCR results demonstrate that stratum oriens interneurons express mRNA for both endocannabinoid biosynthetic enzymes and the type I metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs), necessary for endocannabinoid production. Immunohistochemical staining further confirmed the presence of diacylglycerol lipase alpha, an endocannabinoid-synthesizing enzyme, in oriens interneurons. To test the role of endocannabinoids in synaptic plasticity, we performed whole-cell experiments using high-frequency stimulation to induce long-term potentiation in somatostatin-positive cells. This plasticity was blocked by AM-251, demonstrating CB1-dependence. In addition, in the presence of a fatty acid amide hydrolase inhibitor (URB597; 1 µM) and MAG lipase inhibitor (JZL184; 1 µM) that increase endogenous anandamide and 2-arachidonyl glycerol, respectively, excitatory current responses were potentiated. URB597-induced potentiation was blocked by CB1 antagonist AM-251 (2 µM). Collectively, this suggests somatostatin-positive oriens interneuron LTP is CB1-dependent. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Topics in (Endo)Cannabinoid Signalling)
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Open AccessArticle
Cocaine-Induced Reinstatement of Cocaine Seeking Provokes Changes in the Endocannabinoid and N-Acylethanolamine Levels in Rat Brain Structures
Molecules 2019, 24(6), 1125; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24061125 - 21 Mar 2019
Cited by 6
Abstract
There is strong support for the role of the endocannabinoid system and the noncannabinoid lipid signaling molecules, N-acylethanolamines (NAEs), in cocaine reward and withdrawal. In the latest study, we investigated the changes in the levels of the above molecules and expression of [...] Read more.
There is strong support for the role of the endocannabinoid system and the noncannabinoid lipid signaling molecules, N-acylethanolamines (NAEs), in cocaine reward and withdrawal. In the latest study, we investigated the changes in the levels of the above molecules and expression of cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2) in several brain regions during cocaine-induced reinstatement in rats. By using intravenous cocaine self-administration and extinction procedures linked with yoked triad controls, we found that a priming dose of cocaine (10 mg/kg, i.p.) evoked an increase of the anadamide (AEA) level in the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex only in animals that had previously self-administered cocaine. In the same animals, the level of 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) increased in the hippocampus and nucleus accumbens. Moreover, the drug-induced relapse resulted in a potent increase in NAEs levels in the cortical areas and striatum and, at the same time, a decrease in the tissue levels of oleoylethanolamide (OEA) and palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) was noted in the nucleus accumbens, cerebellum, and/or hippocampus. At the level of cannabinoid receptors, a priming dose of cocaine evoked either upregulation of the CB1 and CB2 receptors in the prefrontal cortex and lateral septal nuclei or downregulation of the CB1 receptors in the ventral tegmental area. In the medial globus pallidus we observed the upregulation of the CB2 receptor only after yoked chronic cocaine treatment. Our findings support that in the rat brain, the endocannabinoid system and NAEs are involved in cocaine induced-reinstatement where these molecules changed in a region-specific manner and may represent brain molecular signatures for the development of new treatments for cocaine addiction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Topics in (Endo)Cannabinoid Signalling)
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Open AccessArticle
MicroRNA-29a Attenuates Diabetic Glomerular Injury through Modulating Cannabinoid Receptor 1 Signaling
Molecules 2019, 24(2), 264; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24020264 - 11 Jan 2019
Cited by 9
Abstract
Diabetic nephropathy often leads to end-stage renal disease and life-threatening morbidities. Simple control of risk factors is insufficient to prevent the progression of diabetic nephropathy, hence the need for discovering new treatments is of paramount importance. Recently, the dysregulation of microRNAs or the [...] Read more.
Diabetic nephropathy often leads to end-stage renal disease and life-threatening morbidities. Simple control of risk factors is insufficient to prevent the progression of diabetic nephropathy, hence the need for discovering new treatments is of paramount importance. Recently, the dysregulation of microRNAs or the cannabinoid signaling pathway has been implicated in the pathogenesis of various renal tubulointerstitial fibrotic damages and thus novel therapeutic targets for chronic kidney diseases have emerged; however, the role of microRNAs or cannabinoid receptors on diabetes-induced glomerular injuries remains to be elucidated. In high-glucose-stressed renal mesangial cells, transfection of a miR-29a precursor sufficiently suppressed the mRNA and protein expressions of cannabinoid type 1 receptor (CB1R). Our data also revealed upregulated CB1R, interleukin-1β, interleukin-6, tumor necrosis factor-α, c-Jun, and type 4 collagen in the glomeruli of streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic mice, whereas the expression of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ (PPAR-γ) was decreased. Importantly, using gain-of-function transgenic mice, we demonstrated that miR-29a acts as a negative regulator of CB1R, blocks the expressions of these proinflammatory and profibrogenic mediators, and attenuates renal hypertrophy. We also showed that overexpression of miR-29a restored PPAR-γ signaling in the renal glomeruli of diabetic animals. Collectively, our findings indicate that the interaction between miR-29a, CB1R, and PPAR-γ may play an important role in protecting diabetic renal glomeruli from fibrotic injuries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Topics in (Endo)Cannabinoid Signalling)
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Open AccessArticle
Characterization of Endocannabinoid-Metabolizing Enzymes in Human Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells under Inflammatory Conditions
Molecules 2018, 23(12), 3167; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules23123167 - 01 Dec 2018
Cited by 7
Abstract
Endocannabinoid-metabolizing enzymes are downregulated in response to lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced inflammation in mice, which may serve as a negative feedback mechanism to increase endocannabinoid levels and reduce inflammation. Increased plasma levels of the pro-inflammatory cytokine interleukin-6 (IL-6) and decreased fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) [...] Read more.
Endocannabinoid-metabolizing enzymes are downregulated in response to lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced inflammation in mice, which may serve as a negative feedback mechanism to increase endocannabinoid levels and reduce inflammation. Increased plasma levels of the pro-inflammatory cytokine interleukin-6 (IL-6) and decreased fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) activity in peripheral lymphocytes from individuals diagnosed with Huntington’s disease (HD) suggests that a similar negative feedback system between inflammation and the endocannabinoid system operates in humans. We investigated whether CpG- (unmethylated bacterial DNA) and LPS-induced IL-6 levels in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from non-HD and HD individuals modulated the activities of endocannabinoid hydrolases monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL) and carboxylesterase (CES). Baseline plasma IL-6 levels and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) hydrolytic activity in PBMC lysates were not different in HD and non-HD individuals. Inhibition of MAGL and CES1 activity in PBMCs using the inhibitors JZL184 and WWL113, respectively, demonstrated that MAGL was the dominant 2-AG hydrolytic enzyme in PBMCs, regardless of disease state. Correlative analyses of 2-AG hydrolytic activity versus enzyme abundance confirmed this conclusion. Flow cytometric analysis of PBMCs showed that MAGL and CES1 were primarily expressed in monocytes and to a lesser extent in lymphocytes. In conclusion, these data suggest that IL-6 did not influence 2-AG hydrolytic activity in human PBMCs; however, monocytic MAGL was shown to be the predominant 2-AG hydrolytic enzyme. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Topics in (Endo)Cannabinoid Signalling)
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Open AccessArticle
The Effect of Long-Term Administration of Fatty Acid Amide Hydrolase Inhibitor URB597 on Oxidative Metabolism in the Heart of Rats with Primary and Secondary Hypertension
Molecules 2018, 23(9), 2350; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules23092350 - 14 Sep 2018
Cited by 6
Abstract
Fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) inhibitor [3-(3-carbamoylphenyl)phenyl] N-cyclohexylcarbamate (URB597) may influence redox balance and blood pressure through the modulation of endocannabinoids levels. Therefore, this study aimed to compare changes in oxidative metabolism and apoptosis in the hearts of rats with spontaneous hypertension [...] Read more.
Fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) inhibitor [3-(3-carbamoylphenyl)phenyl] N-cyclohexylcarbamate (URB597) may influence redox balance and blood pressure through the modulation of endocannabinoids levels. Therefore, this study aimed to compare changes in oxidative metabolism and apoptosis in the hearts of rats with spontaneous hypertension (SHR) and secondary hypertension (11-deoxycorticosterone acetate; DOCA-salt rats) treated by URB597 via intraperitoneal injection for 14 days. The results showed that URB597 decreased the activity of NADPH and xanthine oxidases in both groups of rats. Moreover, in the heart of SHR rats, URB597 led to an increase of enzymatic and nonenzymatic antioxidant activity and levels (catalase, vitamin C, glutathione/glutathione disulfide [GSH/GSSG]) and upregulation of the thioredoxin system; however, NRf2 expression was downregulated. The opposite effect in relation to Nrf2 activity and the thioredoxin system was observed in DOCA-salt rats after URB597 administration. Despite improvement in antioxidant parameters, URB597 enhanced oxidative modifications of phospholipids (4-hydroxynonenal and isoprostanes) and proteins (carbonyl groups) in SHR heart, whereas 4-hydroxynonenal and carbonyl groups levels decreased in the heart of DOCA-salt rats. Obtained results suggest that examined lipid mediators are involved in peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPAR)-independent and PPAR-dependent modulation of cardiac inflammatory reactions. Furthermore, decreased expression of pro-apoptotic proteins (Bax and caspase 3 and 9) was observed after URB597 administration in the heart of both groups of hypertensive rats, whereas expression of the antiapoptotic protein (Bcl-2) increased in SHR rats. Long-term administration of URB597 altered cardiac redox status depending on the type of hypertension. URB597 enhanced oxidative metabolism and reduced pro-apoptotic factors in the heart of SHR rats, increasing the probability of heart metabolic disorders occurrence or progression. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Topics in (Endo)Cannabinoid Signalling)
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Open AccessArticle
Cannabinoid CB2 Receptor Gene and Environmental Interaction in the Development of Psychiatric Disorders
Molecules 2018, 23(8), 1836; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules23081836 - 24 Jul 2018
Cited by 9
Abstract
CB2 cannabinoid receptor (CB2R) gene is associated with depression. We investigated the gene-environment interaction between CB2R function and diverse stressors. First, anxiety-like behavior during chronic-mild-stress (CMS) was evaluated in C57BL/6JJmsSlc mice following treatment with CB2R agonist JWH015 or inverse-agonist AM630. Second, locomotor activity [...] Read more.
CB2 cannabinoid receptor (CB2R) gene is associated with depression. We investigated the gene-environment interaction between CB2R function and diverse stressors. First, anxiety-like behavior during chronic-mild-stress (CMS) was evaluated in C57BL/6JJmsSlc mice following treatment with CB2R agonist JWH015 or inverse-agonist AM630. Second, locomotor activity and anxiety-like behavior were measured following exposure to an immune poly I:C stressor. Gene expressions of HPA axis related molecules, Fkbp5, Nr3c1 and Crf and pro-inflammatory cytokine Il-1b, as well as Bdnf as a key neurotrophin that supports neuron health, function, and synaptic plasticity, were determined in hippocampus of Cnr2 knockout mice, as indicators of stressful environment. CMS-induced anxiety-like behavior was enhanced by AM630 and reduced by JWH015 and fluvoxamine. Poly I:C reduced locomotor activity and increased anxiety-like behavior, and these effects were pronounced in the heterozygote than in the wild type mice. Fkbp5 and Nr3c1 expression were lower in the Cnr2 heterozygotes than in the wild type mice with Poly I:C treatment. These findings indicate that interaction between CB2R gene and stressors increases the risk of depression-like behaviors that may be linked with neuro-immune crosstalk. Further studies in human subjects are necessary to determine the role of CB2R and environmental interaction in the development of depression. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Topics in (Endo)Cannabinoid Signalling)
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Open AccessArticle
In Vitro Inhibitory Effects of Synthetic Cannabinoid EAM-2201 on Cytochrome P450 and UDP-Glucuronosyltransferase Enzyme Activities in Human Liver Microsomes
Molecules 2018, 23(4), 920; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules23040920 - 16 Apr 2018
Cited by 4
Abstract
EAM-2201, a synthetic cannabinoid, is a potent agonist of the cannabinoid receptors that is widely abused as an illicit recreational drug in combination with other drugs. To evaluate the potential of EAM-2201 as a perpetrator of drug–drug interactions, the inhibitory effects of EAM-2201 [...] Read more.
EAM-2201, a synthetic cannabinoid, is a potent agonist of the cannabinoid receptors that is widely abused as an illicit recreational drug in combination with other drugs. To evaluate the potential of EAM-2201 as a perpetrator of drug–drug interactions, the inhibitory effects of EAM-2201 on major drug-metabolizing enzymes, cytochrome P450s (CYPs) and uridine 5′-diphospho-glucuronosyltransferases (UGTs) were evaluated in pooled human liver microsomes using liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). EAM-2201 at doses up to 50 µM negligibly inhibited the activities of eight major human CYPs (1A2, 2A6, 2B6, 2C8, 2C9, 2C19, 2D6 and 3A4) and five UGTs (1A1, 1A4, 1A6, 1A9 and 2B7) in human liver microsomes. EAM-2201 exhibited time-dependent inhibition of CYP2C8-catalyzed amodiaquine N-deethylation, CYP2C9-catalyzed diclofenac 4′-hydroxylation, CYP2C19-catalyzed [S]-mephenytoin 4′-hydroxylation and CYP3A4-catalyzed midazolam 1′-hydroxylation with Ki values of 0.54 µM (kinact: 0.0633 min−1), 3.0 µM (kinact: 0.0462 min−1), 3.8 µM (kinact: 0.0264 min−1) and 4.1 µM (kinact: 0.0250 min−1), respectively and competitively inhibited UGT1A3-catalyzed chenodeoxycholic acid 24-acyl-glucuronidation, with a Ki value of 2.4 µM. Based on these in vitro results, we conclude that EAM-2201 has the potential to trigger in vivo pharmacokinetic drug interactions when co-administered with substrates of CYP2C8, CYP2C9, CYP2C19, CYP3A4 and UGT1A3. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Topics in (Endo)Cannabinoid Signalling)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Cannabinoid Actions on Neural Stem Cells: Implications for Pathophysiology
Molecules 2019, 24(7), 1350; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24071350 - 05 Apr 2019
Cited by 9
Abstract
With the increase of life expectancy, neurodegenerative disorders are becoming not only a health but also a social burden worldwide. However, due to the multitude of pathophysiological disease states, current treatments fail to meet the desired outcomes. Therefore, there is a need for [...] Read more.
With the increase of life expectancy, neurodegenerative disorders are becoming not only a health but also a social burden worldwide. However, due to the multitude of pathophysiological disease states, current treatments fail to meet the desired outcomes. Therefore, there is a need for new therapeutic strategies focusing on more integrated, personalized and effective approaches. The prospect of using neural stem cells (NSC) as regenerative therapies is very promising, however several issues still need to be addressed. In particular, the potential actions of pharmacological agents used to modulate NSC activity are highly relevant. With the ongoing discussion of cannabinoid usage for medical purposes and reports drawing attention to the effects of cannabinoids on NSC regulation, there is an enormous, and yet, uncovered potential for cannabinoids as treatment options for several neurological disorders, specifically when combined with stem cell therapy. In this manuscript, we review in detail how cannabinoids act as potent regulators of NSC biology and their potential to modulate several neurogenic features in the context of pathophysiology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Topics in (Endo)Cannabinoid Signalling)
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Open AccessReview
Cannabinoid Signaling in the Skin: Therapeutic Potential of the “C(ut)annabinoid” System
Molecules 2019, 24(5), 918; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24050918 - 06 Mar 2019
Cited by 33
Abstract
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) has lately been proven to be an important, multifaceted homeostatic regulator, which influences a wide-variety of physiological processes all over the body. Its members, the endocannabinoids (eCBs; e.g., anandamide), the eCB-responsive receptors (e.g., CB1, CB2), [...] Read more.
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) has lately been proven to be an important, multifaceted homeostatic regulator, which influences a wide-variety of physiological processes all over the body. Its members, the endocannabinoids (eCBs; e.g., anandamide), the eCB-responsive receptors (e.g., CB1, CB2), as well as the complex enzyme and transporter apparatus involved in the metabolism of the ligands were shown to be expressed in several tissues, including the skin. Although the best studied functions over the ECS are related to the central nervous system and to immune processes, experimental efforts over the last two decades have unambiguously confirmed that cutaneous cannabinoid (“c[ut]annabinoid”) signaling is deeply involved in the maintenance of skin homeostasis, barrier formation and regeneration, and its dysregulation was implicated to contribute to several highly prevalent diseases and disorders, e.g., atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, scleroderma, acne, hair growth and pigmentation disorders, keratin diseases, various tumors, and itch. The current review aims to give an overview of the available skin-relevant endo- and phytocannabinoid literature with a special emphasis on the putative translational potential, and to highlight promising future research directions as well as existing challenges. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Topics in (Endo)Cannabinoid Signalling)
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Open AccessReview
Cannabinoid Delivery Systems for Pain and Inflammation Treatment
Molecules 2018, 23(10), 2478; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules23102478 - 27 Sep 2018
Cited by 51
Abstract
There is a growing body of evidence to suggest that cannabinoids are beneficial for a range of clinical conditions, including pain, inflammation, epilepsy, sleep disorders, the symptoms of multiple sclerosis, anorexia, schizophrenia and other conditions. The transformation of cannabinoids from herbal preparations into [...] Read more.
There is a growing body of evidence to suggest that cannabinoids are beneficial for a range of clinical conditions, including pain, inflammation, epilepsy, sleep disorders, the symptoms of multiple sclerosis, anorexia, schizophrenia and other conditions. The transformation of cannabinoids from herbal preparations into highly regulated prescription drugs is therefore progressing rapidly. The development of such drugs requires well-controlled clinical trials to be carried out in order to objectively establish therapeutic efficacy, dose ranges and safety. The low oral bioavailability of cannabinoids has led to feasible methods of administration, such as the transdermal route, intranasal administration and transmucosal adsorption, being proposed. The highly lipophilic nature of cannabinoids means that they are seen as suitable candidates for advanced nanosized drug delivery systems, which can be applied via a range of routes. Nanotechnology-based drug delivery strategies have flourished in several therapeutic fields in recent years and numerous drugs have reached the market. This review explores the most recent developments, from preclinical to advanced clinical trials, in the cannabinoid delivery field, and focuses particularly on pain and inflammation treatment. Likely future directions are also considered and reported. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Topics in (Endo)Cannabinoid Signalling)
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